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The CRISPR/Cas Genome-Editing Tool: Application in Improvement of Crops.

ABSTRACT

The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats associated Cas9/sgRNA system is a novel targeted genome-editing technique derived from bacterial immune system. It is an inexpensive, easy, most user friendly and rapidly adopted genome editing tool transforming to revolutionary paradigm. This technique enables precise genomic modifications in many different organisms and tissues. Cas9 protein is an RNA guided endonuclease utilized for creating targeted double-stranded breaks with only a short RNA sequence to confer recognition of the target in animals and plants. Development of genetically edited (GE) crops similar to those developed by conventional or mutation breeding using this potential technique makes it a promising and extremely versatile tool for providing sustainable productive agriculture for better feeding of rapidly growing population in a changing climate. The emerging areas of research for the genome editing in plants include interrogating gene function, rewiring the regulatory signaling networks and sgRNA library for high-throughput loss-of-function screening. In this review, we have described the broad applicability of the Cas9 nuclease mediated targeted plant genome editing for development of designer crops. The regulatory uncertainty and social acceptance of plant breeding by Cas9 genome editing have also been described. With this powerful and innovative technique the designer GE non-GM plants could further advance climate resilient and sustainable agriculture in the future and maximizing yield by combating abiotic and biotic stresses.